Kolkata, June 14: With coach Didier Deschamps insisting on making their future clear quickly, France stars Thomas Lemar and Antoine Griezmann have both complied to their boss’ orders.
Atletico Madrid have announced an agreement has been reached to sign Monaco star Thomas Lemar for a reported fee of €60 million. Atletico trumped Premier League sides Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea among other to seal the deal for Lemar. The 22-year old will play for the Rojiblancos in La Liga next campaign.
However, this move also puts the spotlight on the future of his compatriot, Antoine Griezmann.
Last week, Griezmann revealed he has made a decision regarding a potential summer transfer to Barcelona, but isn't ready to make that decision public yet, especially before the World Cup.
This could mean two things. Either Griezmann has already told Atletico of his wish to join Barcelona, prompting Simone’s side to launch a hefty €60 million fee for Lemar. On the other hand, Atletico could have signed a compatriot of Griezmann in a bid to force him into stay at the Wanda Metropolitano next season. Griezmann has called on Atletico to invest more in their squad, and Lemar's arrival is a sign the La Liga runners-up could be taking their star's advice.
This is second time that Griezmann has been linked for a move away from the Spanish capital. Last season, he was heavily linked to join Manchester United, only to sign a one-year contract extension with the Europa League champions. And now, this season, the Frenchman is linked to a move with Atletico’s league rivals Barcelona.
Lemar broke through in the 2016-17 campaign, scoring 14 goals and adding 17 assists as Monaco won Ligue 1 and reached the UEFA Champions League semifinals, gathering interest from across European Leagues.
Since joining from Real Sociedad in 2014 Griezmann has scored 112 goals in all competitions for Atlético and finished each season as the club’s top scorer.